I was born and raised in Orange County, CA, and I go to CSU Fullerton, so this study abroad adventure is really my first time out of my hometown.
It is really neat to hold classes in such a small school setting, so very different from the CSU campuses. I feel like we are so much more social, picking up conversations with strangers because we see them every day in the same place.
This used to be an old house, but it now holds individual apartments. This is the view from the street. It was actually referred to as "the brothel," with rumors circulating that in days past it housed prostitutes. They say this rumor started because of the interesting design on the balcony railings.
There is a fantastic open market every morning, and larger organic markets with seafood and textiles three times per week. This is where I purchased most of my groceries: Not only are they less expensive than stores, they are also fresher, and you can really get to know the vendors. The daily market is extremely convenient as it is a two-minute walk from the school.
Streets are narrow, and there are a lot of people. The old part of town, which dates back to the medieval period, has streets much narrower than the "new" part of town, which is only around 300 years old.
There are beautiful fountains throughout the city: In the newer part of town, they are on nearly every corner. Most fountain water is non-potable, but the fountains provide good relief for the many dogs when the weather gets too hot.
We visited Arles, a city famous for its patronage by Van Gogh as well as its ancient historic origins, with the CSU group. This is a Roman coliseum from around 4 AD.
Some fellow CSU students and I waiting for the shuttle bus to the TGV station before our first trip to Paris.
Our train fares were inexpensive because we didn't arrive until nearly 1 a.m.! A friend and I had a 24-hour hotel booked, so we were able to check in and put our luggage down. The others decided to only get a hostel and had to wait until 9 a.m. to check in!
The Eiffel Tower at night. It lights up once an hour after sunset, for a few minutes each time. It is quite spectacular.
The Arc de Triomphe, at the end of the Champs Élysées in Paris. We were able to get free admission with our student visas.
The Mona Lisa, or La Joconde, at the Louvre, the most spectacular museum I have ever been to. I could have spent three days touring all of the exhibits!
Learn more about the study abroad program in France.